Addis Abeba – The opposition party, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), criticized the international community for failing to use the six-month window of the humanitarian truce in Ethiopia to “bring the warring parties to a negotiating table and secure a comprehensive ceasefire and said it noted “with great concern, that the international community has failed to acknowledge – let alone try to resolve – the civil war raging across Oromia.”
Militarized hostilities re-erupted between Tigrayan forces and the federal government on 24 August, after six months-long pause following a humanitarian truce announced by both in March this year. It was followed by several attempts brokered by the international community to bring the civil war which started in November 2020 and devastated Afar, Amhara and Tigray regional states to a peaceful resolution.
The resumption of the militarized hostilities has already been condemned by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), multiple countries and institutions and their leaders including The United States, Turkey, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and AU Chairperson, Moussa Faki, who have raised concerns in regard to the situation and stressed a resumption of peace talks.
In a statement the OFC released this morning, it said it was “deeply saddened by the resumption of armed conflict in Northern Ethiopia and the intensification of the ongoing fighting in Oromia” and warned that the “escalation and continuation of these conflicts will cause more death and displacement to the population and further destabilize areas reeling from the destruction of livelihoods and civilian infrastructure.”
“As we have done since long before the breakout of these wars, we reiterate that war cannot be a solution for Ethiopia’s complex political problems, which can only be sustainably resolved through genuine and all-inclusive negotiations. Therefore, we call upon the warring parties to de-escalate the conflict, silence the guns, and pursue a peaceful resolution,” the statement said.
The party further expressed its regrets at regional and international mediators that it said “failed to utilize the last six months of relative calm, at least in the North and the humanitarian truce thereof, to bring the warring parties to a negotiating table and secure a comprehensive ceasefire,” and called on the international community to act proactively and coherently in order to prevent further death and human suffering in all areas affected by conflict.
The OFC also pleaded “with the people of Ethiopia, the party controlling government power, opposition political parties, media outlets, and social media pundits and activists to refrain from incendiary rhetoric”
In addition to expressing its regret at the failure of the international community “to acknowledge – let alone try to resolve – the civil war raging across Oromia” it said that the humanitarian situation in Oromia region “has reached alarming levels” particularly in conflict and drought-affected areas. “Therefore, we call on the diplomatic community to seek the immediate de-escalation of the ongoing conflict and facilitate peaceful resolution through negotiations,” the party said.
The OFC also pleaded “with the people of Ethiopia, the party controlling government power, opposition political parties, media outlets, and social media pundits and activists to refrain from incendiary rhetoric” that is further inflaming the situation and instead call for de-escalation with one voice. “Our country, Ethiopia, and all Ethiopians stand to lose from these wars. We should all strive to contribute to the peaceful resolution of ongoing conflicts.” AS